This is Part 3 of the “Wanna live in The Virgin Islands” series.
If you didn’t catch the first two, here are your links.
Let’s talk about weather, not in the “weekly call with your Dad” sorta way, let’s talk about The Virgin Islands weather. First, there are literally MONTHS of beautiful, perfect, mind boggling days in a row here. When I lived in Illinois, there were typically about 5 days a year that were as beautiful as 358 days a year here.
I’m not putting down Illinois, hell, I love deep dish pizza like the rest of the world, but, let’s face it, the weather is as volatile as a crack head in a china shop. The average temperature is 82 degrees in the day. The variations are small, and there is no debilitating heat like in Illinois in July or Florida, punch people hot, at least not very often.
Some parts of the island are much hotter than my side, I am on the north, and in the first year I was here, we only used our air conditioner 3 times, and I won’t lie, that third time was because I didn’t feel like opening up the house. Some of my friends on the other sides use it daily in the summer. This year has been a lot hotter and earlier which “they say” is a bad sign for hurricanes.
Which leads me to HURRICANES. This is a major concern for a lot of people who are deciding to live here, hurricanes are VERY scary, and the first year we were here, we had two different times that we had to board up, but luckily, at the last minute, the storm turned.
Even when doing my research for this piece, I came across footage of Marilyn, and I couldn’t stop crying picturing the people that I have grown to love going through such devastation. This ain’t no tornado. This is a tornado that spreads miles wide, and sits down on you, and doesn’t move for hours and hours. I remember my friend telling me about her Mom and Dad holding the door with all their might as their children hunkered in the bathtub for hours. Everything destroyed.
When you drive around this island, you can still see the scars from these fierce storms. You can hear stories of love and kindness and togetherness. My respect for the survivors outshines the respect for the storm.
Basically, we made sure we had plenty of water, plenty of non-perishables, like beans,and other canned goods. I got stuff like tuna, apples, oranges, brought my herbs and arugula in, and had plenty of popcorn. I made sure I had a shit ton of coconut water and rum. I also know that a lot of islanders make sure they have a little pot on hand in case shit gets too boring.
We made sure we had tons of batteries for the flashlights, several battery packs to power our phones if they even worked. The power was a main concern since we do not have a generator. Why do we not have a generator? Probably since we have not been through one of these bastards. We rent so we haven’t wanted to invest, but I am starting to think that we need one, because those “they people” are saying this season could be a doozie.
We put up the hurricane shutters when our neighbors said it was time…. And waited. The winds picked up, and the rain, oh my god, THE RAIN. There is a certain energy in the air, I can’t describe it, but it makes your heart beat in twos.
The good news is, unlike a tornado, you usually have a long time to prepare. I will be writing a whole piece on how to prepare for a hurricane soon, stay tuned.
Otherwise, the weather here is magnificent, Illinois was like Sybil, you never knew who you were waking up to, The Virgin Islands is more like that coolest calmest person you know, but you know, one day she could snap!
I’m obsessed with the garbage on this island. First, there is no garbage service (that I know of) that picks up your garbage from your house. You have to take it to a dumpster. This is a real EYE OPENER if you’ve always had a garbage truck pick it up off the curb…. Oh Suburbia…. I’ve learned that my global footprint is a size 12, even though I only wear a size 6.
I couldn’t believe it, and god damn these food manufacturers for always having to put their food in elaborate packages, I used to appreciate marketing, now I am annoyed by it. Next, there is NO recycle. To say that we are about 30 years behind is no joke. Remember when you’d throw your McDonalds bag out the window going down the road? Yeah, we are still there.
There is litter everywhere here. Along with the big ass bugs, we even have bigger litterbugs. You should see the shameful looks I get when I go back to the states and don't know how to throw a water bottle in the recycle at the airport. What's with all the symbols?
Now here is the fascinating part, because we all get to see each other's throwaways, I get to see what has been in people’s houses. I’m not judging, I can’t believe this stuff still exists. With the way the salty air eats up everything, somehow, the original barca lounger has held up, and even more fascinating? Within hours of it being dropped off at the dump, someone comes along and picks it up.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and so it goes. Hey, it is hard to get shit here, and that lowers your standards. I even nabbed an awesome mirror, and this is no shit, you’d pay $900 for it at Restoration Hardware, SCORE!
There is even a crazy guy that sets all the big stuff up and tries to sell it to you every now and again, crazy like a FOX. There is also a nutcase that is sometimes there to help you with your trash bags, and if you let him and don’t tip him, he punches you. I like to keep a few bucks in my console because I like my face.
I’m constantly watching what goes on at the dump, there was that one poor merchant man that I scared to death, (click here for that story). I usually drive by at about 5 mph so I don’t miss anything accidentally.
There is a certain imperfect beauty here. Sure, we have beaches that rival any in the world, we have picturesque views out the windows and doors of our homes, but I find comfort in a place that we don’t hide all the realities of life, like fucking garbage.
Check out the rest of this series :